California Beach Cities Vacation Travel Guide

 

California Beach Cities Vacation Travel Guide features  California Beaches and California hotels highlighted in blue links and California inland cities with no beaches in gray text links, all arranged broadly by county from south to north. To help plan your beach vacation, here are some facts:  There are 58 counties in California, 478 incorporated cities and approx. 118 cities with beaches on the 1000-mile coast and Pacific Ocean. There are also many cities with beaches at lakes such as Big Bear Lake and Lake Tahoe. Some of the largest, wealthiest cities in the USA and biggest public beaches are in California. Helping plan great beach vacations is our Number 1 goal so we've expanded to include historical destinations such as Gold Country, mountain resorts, desert attractions and theme parks such as Disneyland, SeaWorld and Universal Studios Hollywood. We've also visited many hotels, dined on great meals and taken pictures and written reviews of these delicious experiences. Take a look at our beach photos and California pictures to find out why it's so tempting to take a vacation or plan a trip in California.  Because of its long, thin shape, most beaches are accessible within a day's drive. Beach California website has spent a decade bringing the best beaches and vacation destinations in the world to you and we hope you'll find the experience useful. When planning your vacation, you can also find an alphabetic cities and beaches list.
 

 

California Beach Vacations: Hotels, Attractions Packages, Car Rental, Call Toll free: 800-216-1482

 

 

A  to  R    California Cities by County Alphabetical  

S  to  Z    California Cities by County Alphabetical


 
ALAMEDA COUNTY   population is approx. 1,500,000. Incorporated on June 6th, 1853.  ALAMEDA. County seat, Oakland. Created March 25, 1853. The word Alameda is derived from alamo the Spanish name for cottonwood or poplar tree.  www.acgov.org
Alameda

Albany

Berkeley

Dublin

Emeryville

Fremont

Hayward

Livermore

Newark

Oakland

Piedmont

Pleasanton

San Leandro

Union City

Hotels
ALAMEDA
BERKELEY
CASTRO VALLEY
DUBLIN

EMERYVILLE
FREMONT
HAYWARD
LIVERMORE
NEWARK
OAKLAND
SAN LEANDRO
UNION CITY

 
BUTTE COUNTY Historical Landmarks

Chico



 
CALAVERAS COUNTY

Copperopolis

Murphys

ANGELS CAMP HOTELS

MOKELUMNE HILL

 
COLUSA COUNTY

Williams

Hotels
WILLIAMS
 

CONTRA COSTA COUNTY  was incorporated in 1850 as one of the original 27 counties of the State of California. It is one of the nine counties in the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Area with a  population close to 1,003,900.  (Gray link -No Beach)
Antioch

Brentwood

Clayton

Concord

Danville

El Cerrito

Hercules

Knightsen

Lafayette

Martinez

Moraga

Pinole

Pleasant Hill

Pittsburg

Oakley

Orinda

Richmond

San Ramon

San Pablo

Walnut Creek

Hotels
ANTIOCH
CONCORD LAFAYETTE
MARTINEZ
OAKLEY
SAN RAMON

EL DORADO  COUNTY  was created February 18, 1850. El Dorado means "the gilded one" in Spanish, referred in the 16th century to a mythical Indian chief covered with gold dust during religious rites. James W. Marshall discovered gold at Coloma in January 1848. www.co.eldorado.ca.us
Placerville

South Lake Tahoe
beach on lake

Hotels
ELK GROVE
FOLSOM

Hotels
GALT
RANCHO CORDOVA
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE
 

HUMBOLDT COUNTY  county seat is Eureka. Created May 12, 1853. In 1850, Douglas Ottinger and Hans Buhne entered the bay, naming it Humboldt in honor of the great naturalist and world explorer, Baron  Alexander von Humboldt. www.co.humboldt.ca.us
Beach Vacations: Eureka
Arcata

Eureka

Fernbridge

Ferndale

Fields Landing

Garberville

Loleta

Lost Coast

McKinleyville

Redcrest

Samoa

Weott

Woodley Island

Hotels
ARCATA
EUREKA

FORTUNA

TRINIDAD

INYO COUNTY is over 90% government operated land of the National Parks Services. It contains the highest mountain, Mt. Whitney, and lowest elevation, Death Valley's Badwater.

Death Valley


 
KERN COUNTY

Bakersfield


 
LAKE COUNTY

Lakeport                 Hotels LAKEPORT


 
LOS ANGELES COUNTY is California's largest county with over 10 million people.  Universal Studios Hollywood,  Los Angeles Zoo, Port of Los Angeles Cruises, Getty Museum,  Studio Tours, Rodeo Drive shops, Hollywood sign.  LOS ANGELES  Created 1850. The words los angeles  mean "the angels".  co.la.ca.us   Historical Landmarks 
 
Los Angeles County Cities-Beaches (Gray link -No Beach)

Agoura Hills

Altadena

Arcadia

Belmont Shore

Beverly Hills

Burbank

Calabasas

Carson

Catalina Island

Culver City

Dockweiler Beach

Glendale

Hermosa Beach

Hollywood

Inglewood

Long Beach

Los Angeles

Malibu

Manhattan Beach

Marina del Rey

Monrovia

Naples

Norwalk

Palos Verdes Estates

Paradise Cove

Pasadena

Playa del Rey

Pomona

Rancho Palos Verdes

Redondo Beach

Reseda

Rodeo Drive

San Marino

Santa Monica

San Pedro

Sherman Oaks

Signal Hill

Silver Lake

Torrance

Universal City

Venice Beach

West Hollywood

Westlake Village

Watts

Whittier

Wilmington

Hotels
AGOURA HILLS
ARTESIA
AVALON
BEVERLY HILLS
BRENTWOOD
BURBANK
CALABASAS
CANOGA PARK
CATALINA
CERRITOS 
CITY OF INDUSTRY
CLAREMONT 
COMMERCE

CULVER CITY
HERMOSA BEACH
CULVER CITY
DIAMOND BAR
DOWNEY
DUARTE
EL SEGUNDO
GARDENA
GLENDORA

HOLLYWOOD
INDUSTRY
LANCASTER
LONG BEACH 
LOS ANGELES
MALIBU
MANHATTAN BEACH
MARINA DEL REY
MONROVIA
MONTEBELLO
MONTEREY PARK
PALMDALE
PASADENA
POMONA
REDONDO BEACH
SAN DIMAS
SAN PEDRO
SANTA MONICA
STUDIO CITY
TORRANCE
VENICE
WALNUT
WEST HOLLYWOOD
WESTLAKE VILLAGE
 

MARIN was created on Feb. 18, 1850. The origin of its name was was possibly derived from Chief Marin of the Licatiut tribe of Indians who inhabited that section and waged fierce battle against Spanish explorers. www.co.marin.ca.us

Hotels
CORTE MADERA

Hotels
LARKSPUR
MILL VALLEY
NOVATO
SAN RAFAEL
SAUSALITO
TIBURON

MENDOCINO was created on Feb. 18, 1850. The county seat is Ukiah. Its name honors either Antonio de Mendoza, Viceroy of New Spain or Lorenzo Suarez de Mendoza, Viceroy from 1580 to 1583.  www.co.mendocino.ca.us
Beach Vacations: Fort Bragg
Albion

Anchor Bay

Boonville

Elk

Gualala

Little River

Point Arena

Mendocino

Willits

Hotels
FORT BRAGG
LITTLE RIVER
MENDOCINO
UKIAH
 

MONO COUNTY

Lee Vining (Mono Lake)

Mammoth Lakes


MONTEREY COUNTY is 3rd in state for agriculture. Big Sur, Monterey Bay Aquarium & Cannery Row, Steinbeck Museum, Pebble Beach Golf, Art are attractions. MONTEREY  Created 1850. Historical Landmarks From  the Spanish words monte and rey, it means "king of the forest." Named by Sebastian Vizcaino in 1602, in honor of the Conde de Monterey, Viceroy of New Spain.  co.monterey.ca.us
Ragged Point

Gorda Springs

Limekiln SP

Lucia

Big Sur

Nepenthe

Bixby Creek

Carmel-by-the-Sea

Pebble Beach

Pacific Grove

Monterey

Seaside

Sand City

Marina

Soledad

Salinas

Castroville

Moss Landing

Hotels
BIG SUR
CARMEL

CARMEL VALLEY
KING CITY
MARINA
MONTEREY
PACIFIC GROVE
SALINAS
SEASIDE
SOLEDAD
 

NAPA was created on February 18, 1850. Napa is of Indian derivation and may be derived from the Patwin word napo meaning house. Known as California Wine country, along with Somona County. (707) 253-4421  www.co.napa.ca.us 
American Canyon

Calistoga

Napa

Rutherford

Yountville

Hotels
CALISTOGA
NAPA
RUTHERFORD
SAINT HELENA
YOUNTVILLE

 
NEVADA COUNTY  
Grass Valley Hotels
GRASS VALLEY

ORANGE COUNTY is home to Disneyland - Anaheim, Knotts Berry Farm, Wax Museum -Buena Park, Mission San Juan Capistrano, South Coast Plaza, Performing Arts Center -Costa Mesa, ORANGE  Created 1889 and named for  extensive orange groves.  www.oc.ca.gov Historical Landmarks
 
Orange County Cities & Beaches 

Aliso Beach

Anaheim

Balboa Island

Little Balboa Island

Bolsa Chica SB

Buena Park

Corona del Mar

Costa Mesa

Crystal Cove

Capistrano Beach

Dana Point

Doheny Beach

El Morro

Fullerton

Fountain Valley

Garden Grove

Huntington Beach

Irvine

La Habra

Lake Forest

Laguna Niguel

Laguna Beach

Los Alamitos

Mission Viejo

Newport Beach

Orange

Placentia

Rossmoor

San Clemente

San Juan Capistrano

Santa Ana

Seal Beach

Stanton

Sunset Beach

Surfside

Trabuco Canyon

Westminster

Yorba Linda

 

Hotels
ANAHEIM 
BREA 
BUENA PARK
CAPISTRANO BEACH
COSTA MESA
CYPRESS
DANA POINT 
FOUNTAIN VALLEY
FULLERTON
GARDEN GROVE
HUNTINGTON BEACH
IRVINE
LAGUNA BEACH
LAGUNA HILLS
LAKE FOREST
LA PALMA
MISSION VIEJO
NEWPORT BEACH
NEWPORT COAST
ORANGE
PLACENTIA
SAN CLEMENTE
SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO
SANTA ANA
SEAL BEACH
STANTON
SUNSET BEACH
WESTMINSTER
YORBA LINDA


PLACER COUNTY

Auburn

Dutch Flat

Loomis

Roseville

 

Hotels
AUBURN
ROSEVILLE


 RIVERSIDE -  7,243 square miles of land. 3rd largest for population with  1,522,900 people. Aerial Tramway-Palm Springs, Mission Inn- Riverside, Los Angeles County Fair-Pomona RIVERSIDE  Created 1893 and derived its name from the City of Riverside.  www.co.riverside.ca.us Historical Landmarks
 
Riverside

Corona

Hemet

Idyllwild

Palm Desert

Palm Springs

Perris

Temecula

Cathedral City
Blythe
Banning
Beaumont
Calimesa
Canyon Lake
Coachella
Desert Hot Springs
Indian Wells
Indio
LaQuinta
Lake Elsinore
Moreno Valley
Murrieta
Norco
Rancho Mirage
San Jacinto

Hotels

CATHEDRAL CITY
CORONA
HEMET
INDIAN WELLS 
INDIO
MURRIETA
NORCO
PALM DESERT 
PALM SPRINGS
 
PERRIS
RANCHO MIRAGE
RIVERSIDE
TEMECULA
  
SACRAMENTO COUNTY, home to California State Capitol and Historic Old Town Sacramento, Train Museum, Sutter's Fort, State Indian Museum.  SACRAMENTO created in 1850; signifies "Sacrament" or "Lord's Supper." www.co.sacramento.ca.us Historical Landmarks
 
Fair Oaks

Freeport

Galt

Rancho Cordova

Sacramento

Hotels
ELK GROVE
FOLSOM
GALT
RANCHO CORDOVA
SACRAMENTO
WEST SACRAMENTO

SAN DIEGO COUNTY shares a border with Mexico.  San Diego is California's top beach vacation destination. Historic Old Town, Balboa Park, Sea World,  Zoo, Wild Animal Park, Mission, Point Loma Lighthouse, Star of India, Tijuana, Scripps Aquarium, La Jolla, Legoland.  SAN DIEGO- Created 1850. Named in honor of San Diego de Alcala de Henares. Historical Landmarks  co.san-diego.ca.us 
 
Alpine

Borrego Springs

Cardiff

Carlsbad

Chula Vista

Coronado

Del Mar

Encinitas

Fallbrook

Imperial Beach

La Jolla

Leucadia

Mission Beach

Ocean Beach

Oceanside

Pacific Beach

San Diego

Silver Strand 

Solana Beach

Swami's Beach

Tourmaline Beach

Windansea Beach

BORREGO SPRINGS
CARLSBAD
CHULA VISTA
CORONADO
DEL MAR
EL CAJON
ENCINITAS
ESCONDIDO
LA JOLLA
LA MESA 
OCEANSIDE
POWAY
SAN DIEGO
SANTEE
SOLANA BEACH
VISTA

 



SAN BERNARDINO - largest land mass, 20,164 square miles. Recreational Hiking, Skiing, Mountain Biking, Camping and Sports in Mountains    SAN BERNARDINO  Created 1853. Saint Bernard is the patron saint of mountain passes. The name Bernardino means "bold as a bear." www.co.san-bernardino.ca.us  Historical Landmark
Baker

Barstow

Big Bear Lake beach @ lake

Calico

Fawnskin beach @ lake

Hesperia

Running Springs

San Bernardino

Valley Wells

Victorville

Yermo

Hotels
ADELANTO
BIG BEAR CITY

Hotels
BIG BEAR LAKE
CHINO
FONTANA
ONTARIO
RANCHO CUCAMONGA
TWENTYNINE PALMS
VICTORVILLE

SAN FRANCISCO Created 1850. The sixth mission in California was established by Padre Junipero Serra on October 9, 1776, and was named Mission San Francisco de Asis a la Laguna de los Dolores (Saint  Francis of Assisi at the Lagoon of Sorrows). The mission is now known as "Mission Dolores."  Web Site:ci.sf.ca.us  Historical Landmarks
San Francisco Hotels
SAN FRANCISCO

SAN JOAQUIN COUNTY County seat, Stockton. Created February 18, 1850. Named for San Joaquin River. (meaning Saint Joachim)

Lathrop

Lodi

Stockton


SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY on Central Coast California with 3,326 square miles. Hearst Castle -San Simeon, Elephant Seals -Piedras Blancas, wineries, Cambria, shopping. SAN LUIS OBISPO  Historical Landmarks Created 1850. Name comes from the mission. SLOCounty.org

 

San Luis Obispo County Cities & Beaches

Arroyo Grande
Atascadero

Avila Beach  

Baywood Park

Cambria

Cayucos

Grover Beach

Halcyon

Harmony

Los Osos/

Morro Bay

Nipomo

Oceano

Paso Robles
Piedras Blancas

Pismo Beach

San Luis Obispo

San Simeon

Shell Beach

Templeton

Whale Rock Reservoir


 

Hotels
ARROYO GRANDE
ATASCADERO
AVILA BEACH
CAMBRIA
GROVER BEACH
MORRO BAY
PASO ROBLES
PISMO BEACH
SAN LUIS OBISPO
SAN SIMEON
 


SAN MATEO COUNTY contains San Francisco International Airport, wealthy communities, Silicon Valley influences and pristine beaches with giant 60-foot surfing waves at Mavericks.
San Mateo County

Devil's Slide

Half Moon Bay

Hillsborough

Moss Beach

Pacifica

Pescadero Beach

Pigeon Point

Rockaway Beach

South San Francisco

San Carlos

San Mateo County

Woodside


Hotels
BELMONT
BRISBANE 
HALF MOON BAY
PACIFICA
PESCADERO
SAN MATEO
SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO

SANTA BARBARA COUNTY is located on the Central Coast. 2,745 square miles. Historical Landmarks Missions, wineries, Danish -Solvang, Sand Dunes Split Pea Soup -Buellton. SANTA BARBARA   Created 1850. Named after Mission Santa Barbara.  co.santa-barbara.ca.us  
Ballard

Buellton

Carpinteria

Casmalia

El Capitan

Gaviota

Goleta

Guadalupe

Lompoc

Los Alamos

Los Olivos

Orcutt

Oso Flaco

Rincon Point

Santa Barbara

Santa Maria

Santa Ynez

Solvang

Summerland

Surf Beach

Vandenberg

Hotels
BUELLTON

CARPINTERIA 
GOLETA
LOMPOC
SANTA BARBARA
SANTA MARIA
SOLVANG
SUMMERLAND

SANTA CLARA "Silicon Valley," comprises 1,316 sq. miles. Santa Clara County created 1850 and named after Mission Santa Clara established in 1777. The mission was named for Saint Clara of Assisi, Italy. The name Clara means "clear" or "bright."  www.santaclaracounty.org  Historical Landmarks
Gilroy

Morgan Hill

Palo Alto

San Jose

Stanford

Hotels
CAMPBELL
CUPERTINO
GILROY
LOS ALTOS

Hotels
LOS GATOS
MILPITAS
MORGAN HILL
MOUNTAIN VIEW
SAN JOSE
SANTA CLARA
SARATOGA
SUNNYVALE

SANTA CRUZ  created 1850, named  Branciforte, then changed to Santa Cruz. Santa Cruz Mission destroyed by earthquake in 1857, rebuilt in 1931. Santa Cruz means "holy cross."  Monterey Bay Marine Sanctuary is popular surfing spot. co.santa-cruz.ca.us  Historical Landmarks

SANTA CRUZ COUNTY 
Beach Vacations: Santa Cruz

Aptos

Capitola

Davenport

Felton

Henry Cowell Redwoods

Natural Bridges SB

New Brighton SB

Opal Cliffs -Privates Beach

Sand Hill Bluff

Santa Cruz

Scotts Valley

Seabright Beach

Waddell Beach

Walton Lighthouse

Watsonville

Hotels
APTOS
CAPITOLA
SANTA CRUZ
SCOTTS VALLEY
WATSONVILLE

SHASTA  was created February 18, 1850 and was named after Mount Shasta, the English equivalent for the name of an Indian tribe that once lived in the area.  County seat is Redding. Population of Shasta County is: 169,200. The form of government: General Law.  www.co.shasta.ca.us   Historical Landmarks
Anderson

Burney

O'Brien

Redding

Shasta

Shasta Lake

Hotels
REDDING 

SOLANO COUNTY mid-way between San Francisco & Sacramento, bordered by Napa, Yolo, Sacramento and Contra Costa Counties. Formed in 1850. County seat, Fairfield. General Vallejo named county for Chief Solano, ruler of tribes.  co.solano.ca.us 
Benicia

Dixon

Fairfield - Jelly Belly

Rio Vista

Suisun

Vacaville

Vallejo - Mare Island

Hotels
FAIRFIELD
VALLEJO

SONOMA COUNTY Population: 472,7000 Historical Landmarks
Bodega Bay

Cloverdale

Cotati

Duncans Mill

Fort Ross

Guerneville   beach on river

Johnsons Beach  beach on river

Marshall

Monte Rio   beach on river

Petaluma

Santa Rosa

Sea Ranch

Sebastopol

Sonoma

Hotels
BODEGA
BODEGA BAY
CLOVERDALE
HEALDSBURG
PETALUMA
ROHNERT PARK
SANTA ROSA 
SONOMA
WINDSOR

 STANISLAUS - Population: 459,864 1,521 Square Miles  Created 1854. The word Stanislaus derives from an Indian chief who led a band of Indians in a series of battles against Mexican troops.
Westley

 

 

 


SUTTER- Created 1850, it was named after General John Augustus Sutter, a Swiss native, with a land grant from the Mexican government. In 1841, Sutter established a stock ranch where he retired in 1850 when gold seekers deprived him of most of his holdings at Sacramento.

Yuba City

 

TEHAMA COUNTY Historical Landmarks

Corning


TRINITY  TRINITY. County seat, Named for Trinity River in 1845 by Major Reading,

Hayfork

Junction City

Weaverville

 

TUOLUMNE COUNTY was created in 1850. The name is of Indian origin.  Historical Landmarks
Gold Country

Tuolumne

Hotels
GROVELAND

MOKELUMNE HILL
SONORA

VENTURA features Channel Islands National Marine Park, Perry Mason, mission, factory outlets.  VENTURA Landmarks Created in 1782 when Mission San Buenaventura was founded. Buenaventura means "good fortune." www.ventura.org
Beach Vacations: Ventura or Oxnard
Camarillo

Channel Islands

La Conchita

Mussel Shoals

Oxnard

Point Mugu

Port Hueneme

Ventura

Hotels
CAMARILLO
FILLMORE
OJAI 
OXNARD
PORT HUENEME
VENTURA
SIMI VALLEY
THOUSAND OAKS

YOLO COUNTY POPULATION: 176,300 , INCORPORATION DATE: 1850
YOLO. County seat, Woodland. Created February 18, 1850. In the original act of 1850 the name was spelled "Yola, which is an Indian tribal name Yo-loy meaning "a place abounding in rushes".
 
Davis - Mondavi Center

West Sacramento

Winters

Woodland

Hotels
WEST SACRAMENTO
WOODLAND

YUBA COUNTY

Marysville

 
 



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